Nikko Van Stolk
Academy of Art University
A very interesting and free thought about the possibilities of 3D printing. The jury does however find the design a bit too complex and wonders if it would actually work without becoming too messy. But we do appreciate the conceptual development of a poetic merging of technique, flavour and experience.
Like a juicer operating in reverse, Bloom infuses liquid into 3d printed edible flower buds causing them to swell with color, flavor, and aroma. The bud opens as it is saturated and users pick and eat the petals.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The Premium Culinary Experience of the Future: With the advancements in molecular gastronomy and 3d food printing, what will be the culinary experience of the future?3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
Promoting Mindful Eating:
Dieting fads are a perpetual facet to our fast paced culture. We seek quick fixes to losing weight and being healthy with the least amount of effort. However, the simplest key to healthier consumption simply means putting down distractions and being more present and engaged in the meal as we eat. It takes 20 minutes for us to feel the sensation of being full. If we are distracted by other things, we can easily consume far more calories than needed before we feel that sensation of fullness.
Creating a Premium Dining Experience: When customers pay premium prices, not only do they expect quality food, they expect a high level of showmanship, presentation, and entertainment. Bloom builds upon 3d edible printing as a future commodity and offers a unique dining experience utilizing the unique capabilities of this emergent technology.
Beginning with the core ideal of creating a unique and pleasurable culinary experience, I researched molecular gastronomy, observed social interactions and food rituals across multiple cultures, and even conducted my own hands on attempt at molecular gastronomy.
I was fascinated by the transformative ability of science and technology to enhance flavor, texture, aroma, and appearance of otherwise commonplace ingredients, from culinary foams to 3d printed edibles. The simple act of changing the expected appearance, flavor, or texture of an ingredient adds a sense of wonderment and value to food that might otherwise be consumed without a second thought or moment of appreciation.
My research also explored the ritual surrounding food as a shared human experience that transcends culture and has the potential to bring people together in a communal and spiritual space. Asian cultures celebrate tea ceremonies as a meditative and spiritual ritual for welcoming guests and honoring rites of passage. The Greeks would worship Dionysis, the god of wine and merriment, often in large “social” feasts of food, wine, and even orgies. Jewish and Muslim dietary practices relate to symbolic connections to food, for example, the forbidden consumption of meat and dairy together because of the symbolic connection of consuming the calf with its mother’s milk. There is also the iconic painting by Leonardo Da Vinci of “The Last Supper,” and even contemporary American tradition honors Thanksgiving, when starving pilgrims and native Americans came together for a shared meal.
I began to think how molecular gastronomy might not only create a unique culinary experience but also inspire a new culinary ritual that causes people to be more present as they nourish their bodies. What would it be like if you could watch your own piece of “customized fruit” grow and swell with flavor right before your eyes? How could I accomplish this? I experimented with boiling rice and wheat flour as a potential medium for my edible flower buds, and even tried wrapping and steaming strawberries and tangerines to simulate the textural experience of eating this customized fruit. While not an ideal culinary experience, it helped inform and inspire the design of “Bloom.”
Mixology and Culinary Hybrid Experience:
Transform your beverage into an edible, floral experience that entertains and builds anticipation. Add any liquid to the vase and watch as the colorless flower buds transform and bloom before your eyes, taking on the color, taste, and aroma of that liquid. Add broth for a savory entree and aesthetic plating presentation, use juices to create a unique fruit appetizer, or transform cocktails into flavorful alcoholic bites.
The Promotion of Healthier Eating Habits: Dieting fads are a perpetual facet to our fast paced culture. We seek quick fixes to losing weight and being healthy with the least amount of effort. However, the simplest key to healthier consumption simply means putting down distractions and being more present and engaged in the meal as we eat. It takes 20 minutes for us to feel the sensation of being full. If we are distracted by other things, we can easily consume far more calories than needed before we feel that sensation of fullness. Medical studies have shown that the simple act of slowing down and being present and engaged in a meal promotes weight loss.
The rituals surrounding food transcend culture and bring us together communally and spiritually. These practices often involve ritual and active engagement that delays the act of consumption and builds meaning and appreciation of the value of food as not only physical nourishment, but spiritual nourishment as well. The flower buds of Bloom intentionally open slowly over the course of a couple of minutes featuring the unfolding of the petals and slow infusion of color and smell as the primary culinary experience. The act of consuming the petals represents the final reward and end to that experience.7. Does your project have nutritional elements? If so, are these elements available and affordable on a global or local level?
“Evidence indicates that attentive eating is likely to influence food intake, and incorporation of attentive-eating principles into interventions provides a novel approach to aid weight loss and maintenance without the need for conscious calorie counting.”
“Eating attentively: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating” American Society of Nutrition Dec 2012
It takes 20 minutes for our bodies to feel full during eating. By slowing down and removing distractions as we eat, we can reduce the amount of unnecessary calories we consume before we feel the sensation of fullness.